SU-F-P-24: Radiological Disperse Device




We are now living in a society of constant fear of terrorism. This topic is pertaining to give a general knowledge of what is a radiological dispersion device or RDD and in case of its detonation, what are the options open to public for a safe action in terms of reducing the exposure and knowing the proper steps. These RDD are also called dirty bombs.


Compared to nuclear weapons, dirty bombs are easy to make. In order for a terrorist organization to construct and detonate a dirty bomb, it must acquire radioactive material by stealing it or buying it through legal or illegal channels. Possible RDD material could come from the millions of radioactive sources used in the industry, for medical purposes and in academic applications mainly for researches. These are, americium-241, californium-252, caesium-137, cobalt-60, iridium-192, plutonium-238, polonium-210, radium-226 and strontium-90.


Prompt detection of the type of radioactive material used will greatly assist advising people on the protective measures, like sheltering in place, or quickly leaving the immediate area. The effects of radiation are determined by:°the amount of radiation absorbed by body°the type of radiation °the distance from the radiation to an individual°the means of exposure absorbed by the skin, inhaled, or ingested; and length of time exposed.


In any facility it is now much more important to keep a log list of all radioactive materials in use. In case there is a dirty bomb explosion, the chaos and economic cost could be enormous. The economic cost for the evaluation of the contamination, survey of people and surroundings and the after treatment, decontamination cost and effort will be a big challenge in any country. So awareness and preparation is the start to face this new type of challenge.